HATTIESBURG – A
film series focusing on the history of Russia and the former Soviet
Union will be presented at The University of Southern Mississippi
throughout the spring 2005 semester.
Many of the films in the series received major awards
and acclaim from the international cinema industry and deal with
topics ranging from the Russian Revolution to the current conflict
between Russia and Chechen separatists. All of the films will be
shown on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Liberal Arts Building, Room
101. Admission is free.
The series includes the following titles:
Feb. 24: October (Ten Days That Shook the World) (USSR,
1927; directed by Sergei Eisenstein) A prime example of Eisenstein's
utilization of what he called "intellectual montage,"
the film focuses on Petrograd between the February and October revolutions
of 1917. The film was made in celebration of the 10th anniversary
of the Russian Revolution.
March 31: Burnt by the Sun (Russia, 1994; directed
by Nikita Mikhalkov) This film is the unforgettable story of a Soviet
hero whose happy family is suddenly targeted by Stalin's secret
police. Winner of the 1994 Cannes Grand Jury Award and the 1995
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, it is an indelible
account of a man dedicated to family and fatherland cruelly destroyed
by political paranoia.
April 7: Come and See (USSR, 1985; directed by Elem
Klimov) A crowning achievement of 1980s Soviet cinema and perhaps
the greatest World War II film ever made, Come and See was the winner
of the 1985 Moscow International Film Festival's Golden Prize. When
young Florya willingly joins a group of partisans fighting the Nazis
in the Soviet Republic of Belorussia, he little suspects that he
is plunging through the looking glass. Separated from his comrades
during a paratroop attack and struck deaf by German artillery, Florya
wanders a battle-scorched Russian purgatory of prehistoric forests
and manmade slaughter.
April 14: Ballad of a Soldier (USSR, 1959; directed
by Grigori Chukhrai) Russian soldier Alyosha Skvortsov is granted
a visit with his mother after he single-handedly fends off two enemy
tanks. As he journeys home, Alyosha encounters the devastation of
his war-torn country, witnesses glimmers of hope among the people,
and falls in love. This film was the winner of 1962 British Academy
of Film and Television Award for Best Film.
April 21: East/West (Est/Ouest) (France/Russia, 1999;
directed by Régis Wargnier) In June 1946, Soviet dictator
Joseph Stalin invites Russians who fled the country to return. A
talented young doctor, accompanied by his French bride, the beautiful
Marie, and their son, optimistically returns to the Soviet Union.
Their arrival is a rude one. Interrogations are followed by the
grim reality of postwar Soviet Union: shared apartments, suspicious
neighbors and lack of privacy. The young wife soon faces a terrifying
choice: to leave her husband and child for freedom or stay and confront
a grim future.
May 5: Prisoner of the Mountains (Russia/Kazakhstan,
1996; directed by Sergei Bodrov) Two Russian soldiers are taken
hostage by Chechen guerillas after a deadly ambush leaves all of
their comrades dead. Their captor, a battle-weary village elder,
wants to use them as a bartering tool to get back his own son, held
prisoner by the Russian army. But when the trade goes sour and all
trust is broken, the two soldiers realize their hours are numbered
and attempt to escape before they're forced to join their comrades
This film series is being coordinated by Dr. Elizabeth
Drummond, assistant professor of history at Southern Miss. For more
information, contact Drummond at firstname.lastname@example.org or
call (601) 266-4333.